The Medicine Cabinet: Amy, a Cosmetic Dermatologist PA in Miami

The Medicine Cabinet Series was created to give you a unique look at the everyday lives and wellness routines of a diverse group of women from around the country. Dive in for a candid approach to wellness unlike any other.

Meet Amy, a Cosmetic Dermatology physician assistant working in Miami, FL. She has a passion for the science of skin care and living a balanced lifestyle. She shares her skin care knowledge and wellness tips on her blog and Instagram, @the_skinthusiast to help her followers glow from the inside out. 

BINTO: What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

First of all I am a fan of waking up slowly. If I wake up with my 5:30/6am alarm and am just not feeling it, I let myself rest a little longer. When I’m ready to jump out of bed I head straight to the coffee maker and start a pot. While it’s brewing I try to drink at least one glass of water. 

BINTO: What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

After I’ve done my evening skin care routine and hop into bed. I take my vitamins, apply a hydrating hand cream then apply a little retinol to the backs of my hands. I keep all of these things in my bedside table so it’s easy to access before bedtime. 

BINTO: What are some of your favorite healthy foods?

Fruit!! I could honestly live on fruit. My favorite food in the entire world is watermelon. I also love cucumbers and hummus as a snack. I have to be mindful, though, because I can easily eat an entire tub of hummus in one sitting. My dad is of Greek heritage so I grew up eating mainly a Mediterranean diet. I attribute my love of fruits and veggies to him!

BINTO: Tell us about your fitness routine.

I use ClassPass and am totally hooked. I’ve been on the app for a couple of years now and LOVE the variety. I do everything from yoga, to Pilates, cycling, HIIT, etc. I also enjoy running outside. I try to workout 5 days a week but it doesn’t always happen that way. 

BINTO: What was the defining moment when you realized you could take your health into your own hands?

When I started to read the clinical research around a plant-based diet and its ability to prevent, and in many cases, reverse serious illness. I had always been health conscious and when I learned this new information, I thought how could I not make this change with all this data available? Before this I had suffered from acid reflux for years. I was never a soda drinker and ate a pretty good diet (I thought) so I was always puzzled about why I was stricken with reflux at such a young age. As I mentioned we ate a Mediterranean diet, but being Greek we did have a lot of lamb, red meat and chicken. When I decided to cut out meat after learning about so much of the disease states it has been linked to, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my reflux completely subsided. I have been meat-free for almost 3 years now. I try to limit dairy as much as possible but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give up Feta cheese!

BINTO: Do you use Binto? If so, what kind of changes have you experienced as a result?

I have been using Binto for about 5 months now. I notice a big difference in my energy levels and digestive system. I love how easy they are to take and that my supplements are tailored to my personal needs. 

BINTO: How do you define wellness?

I believe that wellness is whatever best nourishes your body, mind and mood. I don’t think that it needs to be an expensive yoga membership or wellness retreat. Whatever you can do on a daily basis to make yourself just a little bit better and healthier is a wellness practice in my opinion. 

BINTO: What do you consider to be the most important step of your wellness routine?

Sleep! I have always been a sleeper. Even through college and a grueling graduate program, I made sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights. If I didn’t understand the material I was studying by 9 pm, I would go to sleep and wake up early to get back to it. I personally cannot function on little sleep and am not the best version of myself mentally or physically. 

BINTO: How has your wellness routine evolved over the years?

I now incorporate a lot more physical activity and sometimes at a slower pace. As much as I love cardio and HIIT, to me a good yoga session is so much more than physical movement. I’m also much less hard on myself. If I don’t get to a workout, it’s not the end of the world. If I’m in a funk I allow myself to feel those feeling for a while instead of forcing myself to get back to it right away. If I have a bad week of eating poorly or not getting much movement, I don’t allow negative self-talk to peek through. Instead I just remind myself of how much better I’ll feel once I get back to my normal routine. 

BINTO: What is one product you absolutely cannot live without?

My Elta MD tinted Sunscreen…. It doubles as my daily SPF and makeup. I slap on some of that and mascara and I’m out the door.

BINTO: How do you take your health and wellness routine on the go?

I always carry a big water bottle, my Binto vitamin packs, a couple of healthy snacks, and I keep my yoga mat stored in my trunk so I have it whenever I need it. I also subscribe to Daily Harvest which is a service that sends organic produce pre-cut and frozen so I can make a healthy smoothie in minutes and take it with me. 

BINTO: What is your biggest challenge in terms of health and wellness right now?

That’s a great question. I would have to say expanding my pescatarian diet to a dairy-free one. I have found it incredibly hard to give up dairy completely. Although I don’t buy it or keep it in the house, it’s hard to find meat-less dishes at most restaurants that are also dairy free. People put butter on everything.

BINTO: What is your favorite part about being a Cosmetic Dermatology Physician Assistant?

Without a doubt transforming my patients’ skin with the right skin care. I have had patients who have struggled with acne, extreme dryness, melasma, etc who have told me that after years of seeing different Dermatologists and even traveling across the world, their skin is finally where they would like it to be. That is such a rewarding feeling. I struggled with adult acne in my early 20s so I understand the toll it can take on your self-confidence. I LOVE the procedure aspect of my job as well, but I truly believe that you can do all the botox, fillers or lasers in the world but if you aren’t addressing your everyday skin habits and routine then you’re doing yourself a major disservice. 

BINTO: How do you channel your own ideas about wellness into your work?

I counsel all my patients who struggle with acne, rosacea, eczema about diet and the link between a healthy gut and our skin. I am thrilled to see so many medical specialties starting to take notice and understand that many of the conditions we suffer from are linked to what we eat and how we treat our bodies. I also counsel on the importance of healthy stress management.

BINTO: If you could give one piece of skincare advice to our readers, what would it be?

Wear your SPF ☺.

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